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The Columbian Repository of Sacred Harmony
Exeter, NH: From the music press of Henry Ranlet, [1802]. Oblong 4to. (8 3/4 x 11 inches). xxiv, 471, [1]pp. 1p. list of subscriber's in the rear. (A4 with minor losses at sheet edges, scattered minor worming and tears). Original sheep backed blue paper covered boards. The most important compilation of American sacred music of its time Holyoke "a composer singing master, and schoolteacher, graduated from Harvard College in 1789. He was descended from two noteworthy New England families, he Holyokes and the Peabodys. Nothing has been discovered about his musical training, though he may have helped to organize the 'select band of students' that played in the Harvard commencement procession in 1787 ... He seems to have made his living chiefly as a teacher of singing schools. He lived and worked mostly in Essex county, where he founded the Essex Musical Association (1797) ... The most prolific American composer of his time, he aligned himself with the forces of musical reform" (American Sacred Music Imprints). The Columbian Repository was the largest collection of music that had been gathered in America up to that time, containing 732 compositions with lyrics and musical notation, including thirty-three set pieces for three or four voices, and a few for five voices. About half the compositions are for psalms, and half for "hymns and spiritual songs." Many of the tunes were composed by Holyoke himself, but he also includes psalms and hymns by Belknap, Watts, and several others (the index distinguishes between American and European composers and sources). A fundamental compilation of early American religious music, and a remarkable production from the musical press of Henry Ranlet, the most noted musical publisher in New England at the time. American Sacred Music Imprints 256; Wolfe, Secular Music in America, p.393; Sabin 32674; American Imprints 2421; Brinley Sale 5924.
      [Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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